I love unit studies. To me, the idea of using a unit study to multitask all the subjects from one perspective is my idea of teacher heaven. However, in actuality, the preparation of a unit study can be time consuming and exhausting. So, when I got the opportunity to review Revolutionary Ideas: The Story of the American Revolution from Homeschool Legacy, I was thrilled at the idea of using a unit study and having everything set up for me!
Layout of the Product
We received a PDF edition of the Revolutionary Ideas unit study. They also sell a paper edition of the study, but I personally prefer the digital because it has easy to click links throughout. Revolutionary Ideas is a seven week long unit study. The activities are meant to be done as one unit study day per week, while there are also read alouds and independent reading recommended that are meant to be done throughout the week.
Each week’s layout contains:
- A suggested library list of read-aloud and independent reading material
- A specific family read aloud for the week
- Sometimes specific independent reading is suggested and other times the student is to simply pick something off of the library list for the week
- A Family Devotional
- A vocabulary term to learn
- Some history topics to research
- A writing assignment
- Additional history, language, or other subject assignment
- A fun game or craft
- A documentary and/or movie suggestion
There’s generally more than you could probably do in a one-day-a-week format, so this is a kind of buffet of suggestions that you can pick and choose from as you see fit as the instructor. This product is targeted at a wide range of ages, so you might even assign different things to each of your children based on their ages and abilities.
The Revolutionary Ideas unit study begins around the time of the French and Indian War, and helps you fill in the details of what actually caused the Revolutionary War, and it goes all the way through the Treaty of Paris. Along the way you and your child will study key figures in the war, key events and terminology and have fun learning games that children and adults from this time period would have played together.
The idea behind the product is that you do your read-alouds and your child works on suggested independent reading towards the subject all week, and then you pick a day of the week that works the best for your family and you spend that day immersed in the other areas of study in the study guide to create your “once-a-week” unit study.
If you have an American Heritage Girl or a Boy Scout, you can also use these unit studies to satisfy some of their patch requirements.
How We Used This Product
We didn’t actually use this product the way it was written for a once-a-week unit study day. It’s a very flexible product, and instead of using in once-a-week, we decided to make it a regular part of our daily schedule. (This was after I tried for two weeks to make a once-a-day unit study day and failed miserably.)
So, we’d spend time daily reading from the read-alouds and we would usually go through a section of the study guide at once to learn from whichever subject area we were at next in the guide. It might be that we read a biography and wrote a little about the person we read about. We might watch videos on the history events we were supposed to learn about and add them to our timeline.
We would sometimes map a little bit or play a game. There are so many options of things to do each week that, even if you don’t do everything, you’ll have covered the material adequately. We might not be doing a lot in one session, but we were certainly building up a good knowledge of the war and the events leading up to the war as we went along.
My Opinion on this Product
I really like the way this product is laid out. I like that there’s a list of reading (and it’s organized by call numbers, making it easy to find at the library), and I like that there’s a combination of read-alouds and independent readers. I love that there’s a family devotional each week.
I love that there’s family games, movies and documentaries suggested. I feel that this involves the entire family in a way that truly builds the family togetherness that I’m looking for in our homeschool. We can even include Hubby in the documentaries and family games, making it natural to share our learning time with him. The kids (and this mom) love to tell him what we’ve been working on in our school time.
I also really liked that the assignments differed each week. One week your child might be asked to put his/her writing and acting skills to the test. Another week, you might find yourself immersed in a more scientific or art based activity.
This unit study is going to rise or fall depending on the books that you’re able to buy or obtain from the library. Although there are many options listed, some of the starred resources are also some of the best, so I would attempt to get as many of the resources for my unit study book basket as I could find at the library.
This unit study was a great deal of fun to work through, and I loved the way that we were able to include so many elements of study and find ourselves learning so much about the Revolutionary War. In fact, my children so interested in the Revolutionary War right now from doing the unit study that we’re actually working our other subjects around the Revolutionary War lessons that we’re want to do from the unit study and books and movies that we want to use to learn more about the war. We’re having a lot of fun, and I would definitely purchase more of these when I’m looking for a fun study to spice up or homeschool or when I have a child who has an interest area that coincides with one of the topics of study Homeschool Legacy offers.